What are targeted Short Breaks?

Short Breaks are fun or educational activities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities * (SEND), allowing parents and carers of children and young people with SEND to take a ‘Short Break’ from caring. They:

  • Are offered for just a few hours, during the day, during the evening, overnight, for the weekend or in the school holidays;
  • Take place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, a residential or a community setting;
  • Offer different levels of support to families which could be:
    • a fun group activity once a week after the normal school day has ended either in the Short Breaks Hub, school, local leisure centre or other community settings1 to 1 support tailored to meet the needs of your family and child
    • a fun activity that includes the whole family to enjoy together on a weekend
    • an overnight or weekend stay in a residential children’s home, in your home, with specialist support
    • additional support for a child or young person to join a club in their community
    • a personal budget, enabling you to purchase your Short Breaks independently

Why has the service changed?

Our aim has been to make Targeted Short Breaks (TSB) activities available to more children with SEND and ensure that available resources are spread fairly around the county, ensuring equity of access. This is something Ofsted inspectors told us we needed to do following their Local Area inspection in 2019.


Due to the change in service it is now necessary to register for Short Breaks:

Did you miss out on registration for Cumbria’s SEND Short Breaks Activities service in October or have become eligible since then?

Then there is another opportunity for you to register for the new short breaks activity service throughout April 2022!

Parents and carers not already registered should REGISTER NOW, to secure a place for their child with additional needs and/or disabilities. You must register your child by midnight on 29th April 2022.

For more details and how to apply, please click the link below ⬇

Click Here

Parent Advisory Groups (PAGs)

To help shape the service and influence future service changes of Short Breaks, there will be three parent advisory groups for different areas of the county, North including Carlisle and Eden, South including Barrow and South Lakes and West including Allerdale and Copeland.  The groups will be led by parent carers, with officers from the Short Breaks service and the providers also in attendance. The groups will also have Business Support provided to help with administration tasks.

The Parent Advisory Groups will be one of the main ways we will be gathering parent voice and ensuring that we work with families to get feedback on how the service is working and how families can help us decide future changes. We are planning to hold virtual information sharing sessions.

If this is something you would be interested in being a part of please email:


Alternatively, if you would like to have some input into these groups but cannot attend the meeting, SENDAC are committed to a representative attending to share your thoughts. You can email any feedback to hello@sendac.org.

Send us a message

Use the form below to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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SENDAC c/o Cumbria Family Support The Office, Mardale Road Penrith Cumbria CA11 9EH

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